|Board member, Brevard School Board, District 5|
|Years in position||5|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 4, 2014|
|First elected||August 24, 2010|
|Bachelor's||Florida Institute of Technology|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Elections
- 3 Campaign themes
- 4 What was at stake?
- 5 About the district
- 6 Recent news
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Andy Ziegler currently represents District 5 on the Brevard School Board in Florida. He was first elected to the office in 2008. He sought re-election against three challengers in the general election on August 26, 2014. Ziegler and Denise Coyle advanced to the runoff election on November 4, 2014, which Ziegler won.
Ziegler graduated from the Florida Institute of Technology with a B.S. in computer science. He is an honorary lifetime member of the Melbourne Beach Volunteer Fire Department which he served with for seven years. He is a member of the board of directors for the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Space Coast Early Intervention Center and the Brevard Cultural Alliance. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Palm Bay. Zeigler's family includes his wife, Patty, and their daughter, who attends Brevard Community College.
- See also: Brevard Public Schools elections (2014)
The August 26, 2014, general election in Brevard County featured three seats up for election. Andy Ziegler was the only incumbent to seek re-election in 2014. He faced challengers Denise Coyle, Dale D. Davis and Dean Paterakis in the District 5 election. The general elections for Districts 1 and 2 featured challengers seeking to replace outgoing board members Barbara A. Murray and Michael Krupp. Misty Belford and Paul Chinaris were competing in the District 1 race while John Craig, Bob Mentillo and Keith Yarbrough were vying for the District 2 seat.
The general election determined if candidates for each seat could garner a majority of the vote total. Since no candidate received 50 percent plus one of the general election votes in Districts 3 and 5, the top two vote recipients in those races advanced to the runoff election on November 4, 2014.
Belford won the general election for District 1. The races for Districts 3 and 5 were decided in the runoff election. Craig and Yarbrough advanced to the runoff election for District 3, while Ziegler and Coyle advanced for District 5.
|Brevard Public Schools, District 5 Runoff Election, 4-year term, 2014|
|Nonpartisan||Andy Ziegler Incumbent||53%||17,847|
|Source: Brevard County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 General Election Official Results," November 14, 2014|
|Brevard Public Schools, District 5 General Election, 4-year term, 2014|
|Nonpartisan||Andy Ziegler Incumbent||47.9%||5,663|
|Nonpartisan||Dale D. Davis||11.7%||1,381|
|Source: Brevard County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 Primary Election Official Results," September 2, 2014|
As of October 27, 2014, Ziegler reported $44,241.00 in monetary contributions and $33,179.27 in expenditures to the Brevard County Supervisor of Elections, which left his campaign with $11,061.73 on hand.
Ziegler won his first re-election on August 24, 2010.
|Brevard Public Schools, District 5 General Election, 4-year term, 2010|
|Source: Brevard County Supervisor of Elections, "August 24, 2010, Official Results," accessed August 20, 2014|
Ziegler was first chosen to represent District 5 on the Brevard School Board in 2008.
|Brevard Public Schools, District 5 Runoff Election, 4-year term, 2008|
|Source: Brevard County Supervisor of Elections, "November 4, 2008, Official Results," accessed August 20, 2014|
|Brevard Public Schools, District 5 General Election, 4-year term, 2008|
|Source: Brevard County Supervisor of Elections, "August 26, 2008, Official Results," accessed August 20, 2014|
Ziegler's campaign website included statements on the following issues:
|“||It is with extreme satisfaction that I have seen my many years of efforts result in more than just lowering expenses. One effort resulted in the generation of new revenue for Brevard Public Schools.
For over 4 years I have been learning all I can about benefits, which in most organizations is the largest expense right behind payroll. Not being an expert on insurance, I have been consulting with a wide range of industry experts both in and out of Brevard. This included hospital CEO’s, doctors, insurance companies and brokers.
BPS is large enough to benefit from being self-insured. With approximately 7000 employees on the plan, covering approximately 13000 lives. However with the insurance industry changing regularly and being extremely complicated, it is necessary to stay on top of the health care market to know how to find significant savings.
I have many ongoing efforts in this area that I am convinced will save BPS millions. One effort that I brought to fruition occurred after I had our Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) contract analyzed. Consulted experts found many things that I was advised to have changed. The most glaring change was for BPS to keep pharmacy rebates, which were being kept by the PBM Company, for no good reason! It was estimated that this contractual change would generate up to $1 Million in revenue back to our insurance trust fund (which pays our self-insured medical claims). The results of my efforts reaped BPS’s $492,000.00 in rebates for the first three months of 2014. Running at an average of over $131,000.00 in rebates per month, we can expect new revenue of between $1.5 – $2 Million per year.
While many candidates tell you they will fix a wide range of problems that they can’t even explain, I have been engaging in complex business analysis looking for the unobvious efficiencies. Even though I have been very successful in my efforts, I am happy to report that BPS has some of the most efficient business practices of any business. We do acknowledge that while we know of BPS’s extensive efficiencies, we continue to look for ways to do better.
—Andy Ziegler campaign website, (2014)
|“||It is my opinion that there are too many components to common core that are not in the best interest of students, society or our culture to support in Brevard County.
These concerns must be guarded against at the state level, since this is federally driven. It becomes extremely complicated and burdensome for local school districts to be analyzing all curriculum and text provided by the state. Although the Brevard School Board has already taken a unanimous stance in addressing a history text book of concern, efforts to protect education from these concerns must be continued at the local level.
—Andy Ziegler campaign website, (2014)
Exceptional Student Education (ESE)
|“||Exceptional Student Education (ESE) services are a very important part of Brevard Public Schools.
ESE is valued here, as it is in any school district, and students present significant challenges in education. Staff is trained to meet these challenges, however the varying exceptionalities of these students create a lot of unexpected situations. The goal is to provide the best services possible to meet a student’s needs.
As an advocate for ESE students I frequently assist parents with making sure unexpected situations are resolved quickly and properly.
I have been an avid supporter of the Space Coast Early Intervention Center for 19 years now. This included a 6 year term as a board member which ended in 2012.
I am proud to say that I have honored, and will always honor my 2008 campaign commitment to be an advocate for ESE students. Be it autistic, downs, severely emotionally disabled, or other ESE students, these are the students I like to check on first when I visit a school.
Historically we know these students have gotten the least attention. I can assure you that since I have been a Brevard School Board member, Brevard has had a pro ESE board. There hasn’t been a single ESE issue that has been brought before the board that didn’t get full support. Fortunately these issues rarely have to reach the board to be properly resolved.
Teachers and administrators do care about what is in a child’s best interest. They tell me that it helps to know they have a district administration and school board that supports them in serving our special students. I vow to keep it that way.
—Andy Ziegler campaign website, (2014)
What was at stake?
Recent school closure decisions by the school board and discussion of a half-cent sales tax dominated discussions in this year's school board races. The contentious decision to close schools likely contributed to two incumbents' decisions to not seek re-election.
Issues in the election
Zeigler sign removal
Video taken by Dean Paterakis. Brevard Times, "Brevard County School Board Member Andy Ziegler Alleged Petty Theft," November 1, 2014
Andy Ziegler admitted to removing six campaign signs which included the phrase "Less Andy." Ziegler contended that he had "implied permission" from the owners of the properties the signs were placed on. This issue came to a head when Ziegler called 911 on October 27, 2014, alleging that Denise Coyle was chasing him in his car along with former opponent Dean Paterakis. Coyle contended that the signs Ziegler removed were not hers, but ownership of the signs was claimed by a volunteer on her campaign, Margaret Goudelock, who filed the police complaint alleging the theft of the signs.
Coyle denied following Ziegler. Both candidates stated that they were checking on their campaign signs. Following Ziegler's call to the police, both pulled into the parking lot of the Palm Bay Police Department. While on the line Ziegler referred to both Coyle and Paterakis as "stupid" for "putting up illegal signs. They're even stupid enough to be following me into the police station." When asked about the recording of the 911 call, Coyle stated, "I'm appalled that he would call somebody stupid, and call me stupid."
The Palm Bay Police Department's investigation was completed on October 30, 2014. The matter now goes to the State Attorney's office, which will decide whether or not to pursue a charge of petty theft against Ziegler. The issue was a direct factor in the Brevard Times decision to endorse Coyle for the District 5 seat.
Tax increase and school closures
How to handle potential school closures in light of a failed tax referendum drew strong opinions from all sides in the district. After voters rejected a tax increase in 2012, the school board voted to close three schools in order to balance the district's budget: South Lake Elementary School, Gardendale Elementary School and Clearlake Middle School.
The decision led a group of parents and the Florida Civil Rights Association (FCRA) to file a lawsuit against the district, which accused the board of closing certain schools because of racial discrimination. All three schools chosen for closure educated a significant percentage of minority students. The Brevard County Commission and Titusville City Council also sued the district to stop the closures on the basis that the board had violated an agreement to consult with the commission and council before making school closure decisions. On April 15, 2013, and May 31, 2013, 18th Judicial Circuit Court Judge George Maxwell denied both requests to halt the closures. On April 8, 2014, the Brevard County Commission and Titusville City Council agreed to drop their lawsuit after the district revised its school closure policy to be more transparent.
The November 4, 2014, ballot featured another half-cent sales tax referendum.
Early in 2014, the board had said that it would release a list of potential school closures before the election. However, the board reversed that decision in April 2014 since a majority of its members supported waiting until after the November election to make that announcement. District 5 incumbent and 2014 candidate Andy Ziegler voiced concerns that releasing a potential closure list would affect school performance and morale.
In an interview with News 13, Superintendent Brian Binggeli highlighted the need for additional revenue to keep more schools from closing and to fund repairs and upgrades to facilities across the district. He stated, "We just want our communities to understand the types of things, air conditioning, roofs, pipes, things that we really need to renew at every facility."
Local parents organized a nonprofit group, Brevard Save Our Students (BSOS), to promote the tax increase. BSOS Chair Adrian Laffittee argued, "If we don't get the half-cent tax, then we're going to be short by $8 million." Brevard Clerk of the Court Scott Ellis wrote an opinion piece in Space Coast Daily which questioned the necessity for additional revenue and the board's transparency on how the money would be spent. Ellis criticized the board for having "no detailed plan for expenditures of any new money" and added that voters should reject the tax increase due to the lack of information provided by the district.
District 1 candidate responses
Misty Belford said,
|“||Even with increased efficiency, our schools desperately need additional funding to meet the needs of our students and counter declines in funding streams including property tax and PECO dollars. The surtax will bring that funding with minimal cost to our residents and benefiting from visitor spending. All of the surrounding counties have a school surtax. We support their schools when we spend in neighboring counties. Visitors to Brevard contribute nothing to our schools. The cost of the surtax to Brevard residents will be minimal ($25 per year for the average family) but the return on investment is significant when you consider funds generated by visitors as well as the impact of high quality schools on our local economy.||”|
Paul Chinaris said,
|“||Many of the school districts in Florida have surplus sales tax to help fund their schools. With our beautiful beaches and the busy cruise terminals, our tourist could help fund our schools if the sales tax is voted in.||”|
District 2 candidate responses
John Craig said,
|“|| I support a sales surtax for a four to six year period with stringent oversight by a committee of nonpartisan community members. Since the administration has not provided the language for the ballot initiative or a defined plan for oversight, I do not know if I will support the actual proposal come November.
The current BPS financial situation is tenuous, with long-term debt service requirements creating a shortfall in the capital budget. We cannot compromise the health and safety of our children and teachers. We must provide a proper learning environment or we are failing our primary mission. A sales surtax will provide revenue required to repair our infrastructure and give us some breathing room while a new School Board creates a long-term strategic plan for fiscal solvency.
Bob Mentillo said,
|“||Financially our school district seems to be in dire straights. But the current leadership has shown a lack of ability to properly spend the money they have. So giving them more does not seem like a good idea, unless the money is allocated to a specific need for a specific time. Or the leadership is changed. Or both. We have a huge debt and our needs are growing faster than the money provided by the state. We need to work on getting the state to better fund our schools, and they are not willing to do that at this point. We need to work on that too. I believe the school district should specify that this money be spent on debt reduction and matched by district level cuts, not school level cuts.
So, I support the ½ penny sales tax if certain stipulations are met.
Keith Yarbrough said,
|“||Whether or not the surtax passes is totally dependent on the level of trust that Brevard citizens have in its school board. At present, that level is extremely low and the superintendent and board have no one to blame but themselves.||”|
District 5 candidate responses
Denise Coyle said,
|“||At this time, it is difficult to support this referendum as this is a double-edged sword. We cannot afford to ignore the underlying issues. Issue one is to “trust” that BPS will perform in a fiscally responsible manner. Issue two is, “Haven’t we been taxed enough?” BPS need to change the message and develop a new structure that is more transparent and accountable to the taxpayers by providing them with the benefits of passing this sales tax rather than highlighting the punishments if not passed. I propose that an independent critical needs committee evaluate the needs of every school, along with an independent oversight board to ensure that these needs are being met and that the money is being spent on priorities, capital repair and maintenance rather than on capital additions and wants. It is then that you will have a YES vote. Students, teachers and schools must be our priority.||”|
Dale Davis said,
|“||No I do not support the Half-Cent sales, surtax. Why not?
First: Duration. The ballot language will be required very soon. I heard Superintendent Dr. Binggeli while at a forum quote six to ten years of surtax. That is not defined. Wildly guessing from $210 to $350 million, shows no planning.
Secondly: Accountability. With deferred projects totaling and estimated $105-134 million, why are they asking for two, three times what is needed to rectify past capital projects? I could support a three year half-cent tax only if we had a blue ribbon citizens advisory committee, and publicly accounted line item spending of each dollar given by Brevard County taxpayers.
Thirdly: Lack of vision. There was no plan, there is no plan. We are back to budget levels prior to the 2004-2007 bubble. We do not have a revenue problem, we continue to have a spending and planning problem.
Dean Paterakis said,
|“||Absolutely not! I do not like our taxes spent frivolously. Our schools continue to misspend millions of our tax-dollars. Why would I, or anyone, want to give the board members more money to waste? How can our schools justify principals and administrators having salaries over $107,000 and then give several of them over $500,000 each just because they had worked for the school board? How can the board justify giving a no-bid contract for $8 million when they supposedly don’t have money. Why isn’t anyone prosecuted when there is an investigation done and found that the facilities department misspent over $3 million in no-bid contracts to friends and family? Why do we continue to employ the CFO that put us in this mess to begin with? No, I am not supporting a ½ cent sales tax until the senior staff is held accountable for these actions.||”|
Issues in the district
Band director firing and rehiring
In November 2012, the school board fired high school band leader James Wilkins over accusations of misconduct. Wilkins had been accused of mistreating his students, using inappropriate language with students and mismanaging band funds. However, the allegations were later proven to be false. One such allegation was that Wilkins had made sexual comments about one of the female members of the band. The student who made the allegation later admitted under oath that he made the statement against Wilkins after being badgered by district investigators. An administrative law judge ruled in November 2013 that the district could not prove any of the allegations which it had used as rational for Wilkins's dismissal. The full ruling by administrative law judge Robert S. Cohen can be read here. Wilkins was reinstated to his job and received back pay for in January 2014.
About the district
- See also: Brevard Public Schools, Florida
Brevard County performed equally to the rest of Florida in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 26.2 percent of Brevard County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 26.2 percent for Florida as a whole. The median household income in Brevard County was $49,099 compared to $47,309 for the state of Florida. The poverty rate in Brevard County was 12.5 percent compared to 15.6 percent for the entire state.
Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin rather than a race. Citizens may report both their race and their place of origin, and as a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table may exceed 100 percent.
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Andy + Ziegler + Brevard + Public + Schools + Florida"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Brevard County Schools, "District 5 Profile," accessed August 20, 2014
- Brevard County Supervisor of Elections, "Candidate Contributions and Expenditures," accessed October 27, 2014
- Florida Today, "Endorsement: Keep Ziegler's professionalism," August 6, 2014
- Brevard Times, "Teachers' Union Backs Brevard County School Board Candidates," August 17, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Andy Ziegler, "How I am generating over $1,500,000.00 in REVENUE in 2014 for BPS!!," August 3, 2014
- Andy Ziegler, "Common Core in Brevard County," July 1, 2014
- Andy Ziegler, "Exceptional Student Education (ESE)," July 1, 2014
- Florida Today, "State Attorney's Office to determine charges in school board campaign scandal," October 31, 2014
- Brevard Times, "Endorsement: Denise Coyle For Brevard County School Board District 5," November 1, 2014
- WESH.com, "Parents, students disappointed over Brevard school closures," February 13, 2014
- News 13, "Parents accuse Brevard School Board of racial discrimination," March 5, 2013
- Florida Today, "Lawsuit claims racial bias in Brevard school closures," March 5, 2013
- News 13, "Brevard County Commission sues school board over closings," March 20, 2013
- WESH Orlando, "Decision on Brevard County school closures delayed," April 2, 2013
- WESH Orlando, "Judge refuses to prevent closure of three Brevard County schools," May 31, 2013
- Hometown News, "Judge denies lawsuit against School Board to halt school closures," April 26, 2013
- Florida Today, "County, School Board end battle on closures," April 13, 2014
- Florida Today, "Brevard schools targeted for closure won't be named," April 9, 2014
- News 13, "Can half-cent sales tax save Brevard schools from closing?," August 21, 2014
- Space Coast Daily, "Serious Questions Should Be Asked of the School Board," July 1, 2014
- Brevard Times, "FIRST LOOK: Brevard School Board, District 1 Candidates," April 22, 2014
- Brevard Times, "FIRST LOOK: Brevard School Board, District 2 Candidates," April 21, 2014
- Brevard Times, "FIRST LOOK: Brevard School Board, District 5 Candidates," April 25, 2014
- Bay News 9, "High school band director fired amid misconduct claims," November 21, 2012
- WFTV.com 9, "Judge says allegations against fired high school band director unwarranted," November 4, 2013
- Facebook, "Brevard Federation of Teachers," January 29, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Brevard County, Florida," accessed July 7, 2014
- National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed July 7, 2014
- Brevard County Supervisor of Elections, "2014 Candidates," accessed July 7, 2014
- United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
- Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off from being exactly 100 percent. This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.
|2014 Brevard Public Schools Elections|
|Brevard County, Florida|
|Election date:||August 26, 2014|
|Candidates:||District 1: • Misty Belford • Paul Chinaris|
District 5: • Denise Coyle • Dale D. Davis • Dean Paterakis • Andy Ziegler
|Important information:||What was at stake? • Key deadlines • Additional elections on the ballot|